Local

6-story project planned for downtown Carmel bothers neighbor

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Charlie Demler says he is the most impacted by a $133 million project planned in Carmel.

“I’m screwed, to put it bluntly. I’m screwed,” Demler said.

He has lived on Emerson Road in Carmel since 1980. He says the $133 million project is going to ruin his neighborhood.

The project would replace a former AT&T site at Industrial Drive and Third Avenue Southwest in downtown Carmel.

“It’s again going to be right next to my property line. I have a pool in my back yard. I don’t want people looking into my back yard from six stories up. It’s insane. The mayor is letting people do this,” Demler said.

Improvements to support the development project will be paid for through bonds from tax-increment financing, which the Carmel City Council approved this month.

Henry Mestetsky, the city’s redevelopment director, says it’s a risk-free project for the city that will continue to help the growth of Carmel.

“We continue to build our vibrant downtown, and it’s all risk-free to the taxpayers. These are positive projects. New jobs, new parking, this is exactly what Carmel residents want,” Mestetsky said.

The project will include shops, apartments and a parking garage. Mestetsky says the $133 million project and other are massive for Carmel.

“What we have on site today is an old, abandoned warehouse, and it’s going to be replaced with a new development with new jobs, new housing,” Mestetsky said.

Demler agrees that redevelopment is a good thing; he just doesn’t think the project is what’s best for his neighborhood.

“I raised my family here. I have two kids. They went through the whole school system. We are going to be tore apart once this six-story building gets built behind us,” Demler said.

He and other homeowners want to see the building at least come down two stories because they believe it will be less intrusive.

“We’re OK with a four-story building. We’re not against redevelopment. We’re against the height of the redevelopment,” Demler said.

Mestetsky says the project should be viewed as a win-win by everyone because the project will also help property values increase.

“Some older houses have gone up double, sometimes even triple. This $133 million project is going to continue to bring up property values of adjacent homeowners,” Mestetsky said.